Applied behavior analysis techniques used by professionals can work wonders when dealing with a difficult roommate or co-worker.
It seems like having a roommate who eats your food, plays music at high volumes and is careless about hygiene is a rite of passage that everyone must endure. But, you can deal with a person like this in your life without screaming matches or bottling up seething anger. Use the premise behind applied behavior analysis and therapy to gently shift behavior over time.
Therapy professionals use applied behavior analysis techniques to eliminate frustrating social behaviors and encourage cooperative ones. You can use the same techniques at home to deal with a difficult roommate so you can live a more harmonious life.
Applying the applied behavior analysis methods at home is as easy as figuring out what behaviors you want to eliminate and developing a genuine way of recognizing positive actions. It’s important to tie the reward to the behavior so that you encourage the corrections without rewarding uncooperative conduct.
Expand your knowledge and consciousness
The home you grew up in created your expectations for cleanliness, privacy, and other social norms. So, if your family members washed and put away their dishes immediately after use, you believe this is normal, expected behavior.
Determine a reasonable baseline behavior by researching what actions are considered average outside of your family. Take into account whether your roommate’s behavior just annoys you or is truly detrimental to your living conditions.
For example, if your housemate’s dirty dishes have encouraged a pest infestation, you can be reasonably sure that an intervention is required. If you are simply offended by a coffee cup left in the sink, you might need to scale back your reaction.
Start with the ABCs – Antecedent, Behavior, and Consequence
Antecedents, more commonly known as triggers, are the events that happen just before a behavior occurs. Consequences are the actions that come after a behavior.
Understanding both and how they interact with behaviors is crucial to turning your nightmare situation into domestic bliss. You can get started without explaining what you are doing.
Example of the sequence of A-B-C
Use three steps – the “A-B-Cs” – to understand and encourage different behavior with rewards. The three letters represent three words: antecedent, behavior, consequence.
An antecedent can be verbal, such as a request. “Can you please turn out the lights before you turn in for the night?” It can also be physical, such as a dirty dish.
The behavior is your roommate’s response to your request. Using the verbal prompt from the example above, there are two possible behaviors. The roommate can turn off the lights, or they can leave them on. Each time your roomie uses the behavior or skill successfully, you praise them or reward them with a token item.
Rewards can be something as simple as verbal praise, “Hey, thanks for turning off the lights before you went to bed last night. I slept better without the light shining in through my door.”
It’s important not to reward any difficult behavior. Even getting angry can acknowledge that it’s bothering you. You can have a discussion regarding expectations, but avoid rewarding bad behavior with an attention of any kind.
Applied behavior analysis techniques will help you become a better person
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is backed by scientific evidence. In fact, the methods have been used and studied for decades. As such, therapists use ABA Therapy software to track data, see trends, and measure the success of the therapy methods in daily life.
ABA therapy aims to encourage helpful behaviors and decrease problematic or harmful ones at home, at school, and in daily interactions. The methods help learners gain useful, everyday skills like cleaning up after themselves or making healthier food choices.
Applied behavior analysis techniques work on more people than just difficult roommates. These techniques are effective with co-workers and children as well. So, uncover your inner potential by harnessing the power of positive feedback.
The people around you will enjoy receiving positive reinforcement for demonstrating useful skills and socially appropriate behaviors. The techniques are appropriate and effective for people of all ages.
Most people like appreciation and will go to great lengths to secure it. It’s critical that you don’t use false praise. Instead, prepare a plan that gives you several consequence options that you can use in different situations.
Copyright © 2012-2023 Learning Mind. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, contact us.